Can I Save Money With a Programmable Thermostat?

The Energy Information Administration estimates that over 40 percent of home energy costs come from cooling and heating our homes. As a result, reducing the amount of energy we use for heating and cooling can significantly lower our overall energy bills.

Programmable thermostats may seem like a great way to do this. These thermostats are often advertised as energy-saving devices that will save you a great deal of money. However, studies have found that programmable thermostats frequently fail to live up to their supposed energy saving potential. The problem, it turns out, is that many people don’t use their potentially efficient thermostats in a very efficient way.

The Human Element

One key to lower heating and cooling costs is to turn down your thermostat for at least eight hours every day or night. Programmable thermostats make this easy, since you can preset temperatures for different times of day. In the summer you can set your air conditioner to turn off while you’re at work, and during the winter you can have your thermostat switch off while you’re sleeping.

However, many people set their programmable thermostats to run the air conditioner during the day and the heater at night. This may ensure maximum comfort but it uses an enormous amount of energy and causes energy bills to skyrocket.

Moderate indoor temperatures are also key to lowering energy use. Indoor temperatures of 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer are considered ideal for energy efficiency. However, one study found that people with programmable thermostats used less cooling energy while they were away but more when they were home because they set their thermostats lower.

Choose a Thermostat That Works for You

Programmable thermostats are likely to benefit some people, while others may be able to save more money on a consistent basis with a manual thermostat. If you prefer to let the thermostat do the work, and often forget to turn your system up or down at appropriate intervals, then a programmable thermostat is a reliable way to ensure that your system has enough down time.

However, if you prefer to have hands-on control of the temperature in your home, a manual thermostat may actually be the more efficient option. Small differences, such as turning your system on when you actually get up in the morning instead of one hour before, can add up to moderate savings over time.

In the end, human beings are the most important variables in the quest to reduce energy use and save money. If you are determined to lower your energy use, you can do so with any kind of thermostat. Make sure to turn your system off for at least eight hours every day and choose moderate temperature settings, and you will see the difference in your energy bills.

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Home Energy Efficiency Tips

We use energy every day for our air conditioners, heating, lighting and office equipment. However, there are times when our energy bills are higher than normal; especially if the weather is extreme or we have appliances that require a great deal of energy.

There are several energy efficiency tips that will help such as tuning your heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems with an annual maintenance contract. With an annual maintenance contract your are ensured that a HVAC contractor will give you pre-season tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. Not only will this save you money and energy but your system will probably last much longer.

Another tip is to regularly clean or change your HVAC filter every month; especially during heating or cooling seasons. Dirty filters cost more to use, result in lower indoor air quality and stress the systems. In addition, by controlling direct sunlight through windows, you can block direct heat from heating up too much in summer months and allowing sunlight to come in when it is cold outside.

Trees help to shade a home and add comfort to those sitting outside on lawn chairs or on the porch. Interior curtains or drapes can also keep the inside of a home cooler or warmer; depending on the season. Fans do a great job in maintaining a comfortable temperature inside. They also lower humidity and make higher temperatures much more comfortable. Another effective method in conserving energy is plugging leaks with weather stripping and caulking. This method is inexpensive and can be done in a morning or afternoon.

Turning off lights when not being used, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and adjusting lighting to your needs can also save you money.

By turning off machines when not being used such as computers, laptops and other machines; you can save even more on energy costs. Cleaning refrigerator coils twice a year can also help.

To save on water, fix leaks. Conserving water saves energy and money. Think about installing water-saving faucets and shower heads; they can save money, too.

Many have found energy savings by buying efficient appliances such as a new water heater and setting the water temperature at 110-120 degrees. This could prevent someone from being scalded and will lower your energy bill.

To conclude, home energy efficiency tips such as the ones mentioned above can save you time, money and effort. Call us for all your HVAC needs.

Tips To Stay Cool In The Summer

Throughout much of America, summer temperatures can become quite warm. In an ideal world where money and the environment have no consequence, we would run our air conditioning units non-stop and enjoy the cool temperatures of our home without a second thought. However, money and the environment are of consequence. Finding ways to stay cool while minimizing our electric budgets and our impact on the environment can be difficult. However, following these summer cooling tips can help:

Do not allow your home’s interior to become extremely hot. Your air conditioning unit is only meant to cool your house down by about 20 degrees. This means if you allowed your house to get to 100 degrees, you can only expect your A/C to be able to cool it down to 80 degrees, even over a long period of time. Expecting your air conditioning unit to be able to perform in this way will cause it to need replaced soon and only add costs to your energy bills. Even if you are going on vacation, try to keep your thermostat set at a reasonable temperature.

Change the filter on your HVAC system at least once per quarter, or four times per year. This not only is healthier for your family, as they will be breathing cleaner air, but it will ensure that your HVAC system is not being overworked, causing your energy bills to increase.

House cooling tips would not be complete without mentioning home appliances. First, make sure there are no appliances such as lamps or televisions near your thermostat which could cause a falsely high reading, in turn making your air conditioner run unnecessarily. In addition, keep appliances that are not in use unplugged. Many appliances that are on, or even plugged in and not in use can add to your electric bill, and cause an increase in temperature of your home.

Finally, one of the best tips to stay cool in summer is to have a service agreement in place for your air conditioning unit. You should have it checked by a technician at least once per year, before the weather gets warmer. Regular tune ups will decrease untimely and costly breakdowns. Schedule an A/C maintenance inspection today to make sure your unit is running up to par. Additionally, follow these cooling tips for your home to increase your comfort while keeping your electric bill affordable.

Program Thermostat For Savings This Summer

When you want to save money on summer cooling, it is essential that you find the most energy efficient way to cool your home, especially as temperatures begin to rise. Simple steps, such as making sure your air conditioner is serviced on an annual basis can play a major role in lowering utility bills, but there are plenty of other energy saving tips will help keep these costs down. For example, most people give little thought to simple things, such as cooking dinner, but turning on the oven can introduce more heat, making it necessary for your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Any time you do something that reduces the amount of heat inside your home, you provide a more energy efficient way for your air conditioner to maintain a cooler temperature. Of course, turning off the oven from time-to-time can reduce excess heat in the kitchen, but it also gives you an opportunity to order take-out, cook on the barbecue or use another cooking method, such as stir frying to make your meals.

When trying to reduce excess heat in the house, consider keeping blinds, drapes or shutters closed, especially on windows that have a direct exposure to the heat of the sun. Hours of sunshine beating on your windows can significantly raise inside temperatures, creating an environment where your air conditioning system will have to work harder just to keep your home cool.

An annual preventative maintenance agreement can also be an effective way to manage high cooling costs. When you service your unit once per year, your air conditioning system will be able to deliver more reliable cooling, but it will also be operating at its peak of energy efficiency. An energy efficient cooling system can significantly reduce cooling costs, making energy bills much more manageable. In addition to checking your HVAC equipment for proper refrigerant levels and operation, your service technician will ensure you have clean filters. An air conditioning system with clean filters will function more smoothly and energy efficiently than one that has dirty or clogged filters.

While your current air conditioning system might be in good condition, you might want to consider the benefits of a programmable thermostat. You can have a programmable thermostat installed for your current system, but still enjoy the energy savings of being able to program thermostat to meet your particular cooling needs.

A good quality cooling system relies on dependable equipment as well as professional maintenance. When you have your equipment serviced every year, you will have the benefits of better performance, more energy efficient operation and a longer lifespan. Always keep your HVAC equipment in top operating condition with a professional HVAC technician.